Rahab Hides the Spies
2 And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.
Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”
Joshua 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Joshua was a man of strong leadership. He had been trained for this moment by God and through Moses. He had accompanied him partway up the mountain where he received the Law. He was one of the 2 of 12 who 40 years earlier had believed God could give them the land promised. At times it appears he was almost Moses’ shadow as he observed all the inward workings of leadership. As a military leader, he strategized with God’s help in how to take the first city of this new land, Jericho. His plan given for spies to go in and take a look at what they faced was practical.
He planned and then executed that plan. It’s also quite obvious he had a remarkable relationship with God who gave instruction to which he heeded. As a leader he not only was a planner, he was also an encourager. He continually would call the people in encouragement to believe in faith what God had promised. He was ultimately faithful to his God despite the challenges and daunting aspect of his God-given calling.
When you think about leadership, Joshua was one who did things so well. He was taken under Moses’ wing on so many levels where he witnessed firsthand the ins and outs of what it looked like to lead. He saw Moses in the good and not so good times. It was mentoring at its best. Consequently, he was prepared for this role even without knowing it. He gave of himself to Moses and learned in the process. When it was time for the baton to be passed, he was ready.
The question to consider is who is your Moses? Who is the one God has brought into your life at this moment where you see the good and the bad and ultimately the faith they have? Who is the one that’s invited you alongside to witness their own relationship with God and how they lead? Are you recognizing this great invitation from God who orchestrated this relationship for your future? Are you teachable?
Beyond this, who is your Joshua? Who is the one that God has asked of you to invite alongside and show them your own relationship with God? Who is invited to observe sometimes even as a shadow of how you make decisions and how you rely on God?
Mentoring is learning things from every angle. You are modeling yourself after others and others are shaping their lives after you. It’s a critical chain of relationships we hold. How important is God to those you want to be like? Do those who are observing your own life see God reflected? The people whom we pattern our lives after have a definite effect on us. A person fully committed to God provides the best model.
Who is your Moses? If you don’t have one, ask God to lead you to one. In the same regard, ask Him to make you a good Joshua in that relationship. And who is your Joshua? Who is the one God has brought in your path that He’s calling of you to model His ways before them?
Joshua 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It would not be an easy task to get a view of Jericho. Spies were sent by Joshua and through the sovereignty of the Lord, they were able to find help from Rahab. Though the writer does not commend Rahab’s lifestyle and past choices, she is favored because of her faith in God. Rahab makes an unbelievable statement of faith.
…and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan.Joshua 2:9-10 HCSB
But the reason why Rahab is elevated high in Scripture isn’t just because of what she says. She backs up her words with actions. The scarlet cord she ties to her window places Rahab in the midst of God’s grace. She had faith in the Passover story of Exodus and now , by faith, she has the opportunity to experience much the same. She will trust that God will now pass over her house when His people raid the land.
Rahab’s story also reminds us of the story of Tamar in Genesis 38 when she had a scarlet thread tied to the wrist of her first son.
Some might read this story and become offended or confused as to why a prostitute is the focal point. God has never taken an interest in the works of man as a means to Salvation. Status, popularity, titles, and works do not justify us in the sight of God. The significance of this story is not who Rahab is, but who God is. God saw Rahab. He knew her shame. He heard her cries for help. God came and rescued Rahab from her own pit of destruction.
Rahab had to step out and trust a God she had only heard of in stories. She literally risked her life by choosing to trust God. The lesson we can learn here is that God chooses the most unlikely and unqualified to accomplish his purpose. He is always working.